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The Study Abroad Foundation (SAF)

SAF was established in 2000.  The organization currently works in 14 countries and maintains fully staffed offices in the United States, Mainland China, Japan and Korea. Part-time Student Liaison Officers (SLOs) provide student support and emergency services in locations where SAF does not currently maintain a full-time presence. 
SAF Headquarters Leadership and Staff

Board Chairperson

Mary M. Dwyer, Ph.D., is president and CEO of IES Abroad, the Institute for the International Education of Students, one of the nation's oldest, largest and most reputable not-for-profit organizations providing study abroad and internship programs to U.S. college and university students. Prior to IES Abroad, Dr. Dwyer was a faculty member in the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for 18 years and the campus Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.Dr. Dwyer has consulted extensively over the past 25 years and been called upon by an array of U.S. and international organizations across 20 developed and emerging countries, including the World Health Organization (WHO), global ministries of health and education, Kellogg Foundation and national health and professional associations.  Dr. Dwyer holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and social sciences from Mundelein College, a master’s degree in educational leadership, a doctorate in public policy analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an honorary doctorate in Civil Law from the University of the South – Sewanee.

Executive Director 

Carol Carmody is a founding director of the Study Abroad Foundation. Carol began her career in international education in 1989 joining the newly established Institute for Study Abroad at Butler University (IFSA-Butler). In addition to facilitating study abroad programs for American undergraduate students, Carol has experience with English language programs, international student recruitment, and US immigration regulations through her work with the American Cultural Exchange, Butler University, and Ball State University . She is a graduate of Colorado State University and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (M.Sc.) and studied abroad in Austria and Germany while an undergraduate student through IES Abroad.

Assistant Director, Program Management 

Melissa Trahyn began her work at SAF in February 2010. Prior to joining SAF, Melissa was at Butler University in the International Student Services Office and before that the American Language Academy. Melissa first began traveling while in university, where her first trip was to Tirana, Albania; she has traveled and lived extensively in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She first ventured out in international education to teach English in Baku, Azerbaijan at the International Learning Center (ILC) for one year right after graduating from university, then one year of teaching ESL and Music at the International School of Indiana. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Ohio State University and a MS in Effective Teaching and Leadership with a focus in Instructional Technology from Butler University. She is fluent in Spanish and has studied Azerbaijani and Russian.

Associate Vice President of International Recruiting and Marketing

Benjamin Mack served as Director, Recruiting and Marketing for BROWNS English Language School and BROWNS Professional School in Australia before joining SAF. At BROWNS, Ben designed and constructed a comprehensive recruiting and marketing function, while developing and executing strategies for pricing, sales, branding and partnership. Ben has also served as Manager at Study Brisbane, the official economic development board for Brisbane, Australia; as well as International Recruitment Manager, Domestic Recruitment and Admissions Business Analyst, and National marketing Team Scholarship Coordinator, all at Bond University of Australia. 

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Samantha Machart is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science. After graduation, she worked for the Minnesota House of Representatives public relations team, as well as on several political campaigns as a staffer. Prior to joining SAF, she worked as a Communications Manager in association management. In this role, she worked with various international medical associations creating online and print marketing content, as well as social media marketing. She studied abroad through IES Abroad's Summer Internship Program in Dublin, Ireland. 

Program Specialists

Michael Timm is a graduate of Ball State University with a B.A. in Teaching Foreign Languages specializing in Japanese.  He spent one year in Tokyo at Tokyo Gakugei University.  He comes to IES from the Indianapolis Public School system where he has been teaching Japanese since 2015.

Grady Foster is a graduate of Florida State University, with a B.S. in Political Science, and Instituto Franklin – Universidad de Alcala (Spain), with a Master in International Education. Most recently, he has held several English teaching positions in Madrid, Spain.  In addition, he has had two internships in NGO/Non-profit settings as a social media intern both in the US and Peru.

Dennis Sullivan is a graduate of Ball State University with a B.A. in Communications, and Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany) and Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Netherlands) with a dual M.A. degree in International Humanitarian Action. He has served in several support administrative positions in the Indiana State Senate, worked as an economic development trainer with Acción Contra el Hambre (Action against Hunger) in Tblisi, Georgia, and most recently as a member of the Disaster Action Team with the American Red Cross Society in Indianapolis.

Assistant Program Specialists

Jessica Hoag is a graduate of Penn State University with a B.A. in Global Studies, minor in Business. During her undergraduate studies, Jessica held many leadership positions, from the first female Student Government President to co-founding the Chinese Culture Club.  She also worked in the Multicultural and International Office at Penn State Berks and was an International Mentor.  Jessica is an IES Alum of the 2016 Freiburg program.

Meghan Rogers is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management. She studied abroad in Italy and France while studying at Purdue. Before working at SAF, she was an Admissions Advisor at The French Pastry School in Chicago. 

Student Accounts Bookkeeper

Pam Shannon joined SAF in February 2013. She was previously employed by J.C. Penney Co. and has a background in bookkeeping. Pam has lived in Japan where she was a bookkeeper for OMS International and taught conversational English. Pam is responsible for preparing student invoices and receiving payments, along with other duties that may arise with student accounts.





Last Updated: 2/5/19